Riding your bike can be a fantastic way to unwind, get some fresh air, and travel locally from one place to the next. However, individuals in Pennsylvania who bike ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs risk being charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Anyone confronting criminal DUI charges in Pennsylvania may face severe punishments comparable to those for drinking and driving a motor vehicle.
This blog explains how Pennsylvania laws define DUIs for someone riding a bicycle in addition to the potential consequences. If you’ve been accused of riding a bike while drunk or drugged in Montgomery County or Southeastern Pennsylvania, get in touch with the DUI defense attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. for trusted legal support today.
DUI Laws in Pennsylvania
If you’re in a situation where you feel too intoxicated to drive your car, you may think that riding a bicycle instead is the safer option to avoid an accident and be charged with a DUI. However, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania views riding a bicycle the same as operating a motor vehicle because both must follow traffic laws.
According to Pennsylvania Vehicle Code 102, it is illegal for anyone to violate traffic laws while operating or driving any vehicle. The key term, “vehicle,” is defined under this statute as:
“Every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except devices used exclusively upon rails or tracks.”
Consequently, riding a bike is viewed the same as driving a vehicle in the eyes of the law. You may be criminally charged for riding a bicycle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, just the same as you may be charged with a DUI for driving a vehicle while intoxicated. The consequences for riding a bike under the influence of drugs or alcohol are severe because Pennsylvania law makes no distinction between a motor vehicle and a vehicle that you power yourself manually.
Understanding Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent Law in DUI Cases
Additionally, according to Title 75, Section 1547 of Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code, anyone riding a bicycle who refuses to submit to a chemical test after being pulled over by police for suspected DUI must abide by Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent Law. The implied consent law means that anyone operating a vehicle on Pennsylvania’s public roadways is considered to have agreed to chemical tests. Specifically, it states that:
Any person who drives, operates or is in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle in this Commonwealth shall be deemed to have given consent to one or more chemical tests of breath or blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of blood or the presence of a controlled substance…
In short, implied consent means that you have given permission to submit to a test of your BAC level, and it does not necessitate direct or explicit words stating your agreement. While individuals are free to refuse a chemical test when they’re pulled over by law enforcement for suspected drunk driving, refusing leads to a loss of driving privileges, usually for one year—even if you are found not guilty for driving under the influence.
Schedule Your Free Case Review with Experienced DUI Defense Lawyers in Montgomery County, PA
Whether riding on a bike or driving a car, a conviction for DUI can result in harsh penalties. It can affect your career, reputation, restrict your mobility through a loss of license, and leave you with a lasting criminal record. Don’t delay talking to an experienced DUI defense lawyer after an arrest for suspected DUI.
When you partner with Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, our highly trained and skilled criminal defense attorneys fight for your rights and freedoms just as we have done for clients in Montgomery County, Bucks County, and across Southeastern Pennsylvania for over 65 years. Our seasoned legal professionals have earned various esteemed recognitions and awards, including a Tier 1 ranking with U.S. News—Best Law Firms 2021. To consult one of our knowledgeable DUI defense lawyers about your situation, schedule a free consultation by completing a contact form or call 215-822-7575.